If you haven’t noticed yet, your local grocery store’s produce department is overflowing with nutrient-rich and healthy food options. The items you need to know about are some of the most-underutilized products on the market today. Which is a definitely a shame! These foods are bursting with flavor, vitamins, and overall super ingredients that may do everything from lower your blood sugar to boost your fat burning.
These foods, sometimes termed superfoods, may not be on your radar of foods to eat, but they should be! Superfoods are called that because in essence, they truly are super. They contain vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that may do everything from lowering blood sugar to fighting some cancers. Examples of superfoods commonly overlooked are: turnips, cauliflower, asparagus, flaxseeds, avocados, kale, spinach, dandelion greens, and fennel. Some of these foods are bitter to taste, but they could pack a day’s worth of fat-fighting and cancer-fighting nutrition in a single serving. So before you turn your head, here are some of the top ways to sneak superfoods into your day.
Four Sneaky Ways to Better Nutrition
Sometimes it is harder to get all the foods you need into one or many meals. From rushing around in the morning to soccer games in the afternoon, many people find it very difficult to maintain healthy nutrition on the go. You may intend to carry healthy snack options in your purse or glove compartment, but it is just easier to stop at the local drive-thru. The problem with this is that you are missing out on a world of healthy and nutritious foods that add benefit to your overall health.
Some foods fight cancer, some foods may control blood sugar, therefore diabetes. Some may even reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, which may add years to your overall heart health. Superfoods are commonly found in your grocery store’s produce section. However, they may be overlooked, due to preparation time and lack of a creative way to cook and serve them. Avocados, onions, and berries are extremely easy to add to almost any plate. But take kale, fennel, turnips, and dandelion greens, and the choices may become limited. However, these four Sneaky Ways may help you to enjoy nutrient-rich foods, with no fuss at all.
Top Four Sneaky Ways to Get More Superfoods
Prep Way #1: Got a Blender? Good!
If you have a blender, then you are one step ahead of making a healthy, nutritious, low-sugar smoothie. Nothing, and I mean nothing, should be held back from a blender. A protein and nutrient-packed smoothie can provide you a day’s worth of nutrition in a single serving. Plus, you can add anything (kale, spinach, dandelion greens, etc.) to fat-burning yogurt, coconut milk, or almond milk to make a tasty shake packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients that may not only ward of colds and flus, but may be helpful at reducing your weight. Throw in a few berries (raspberries especially) and you will increase the nutrition of your shake, plus improve on the taste and fat-burning potential. Other options: add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to include omega-3 fats (heart healthy fats) as well as some additional protein and fiber.
Prep Way #2: Switch out Your Faves
If you are a person who loves pasta, then this easy switch may be for you. One type of squash, called spaghetti squash, is overflowing with vitamins and minerals that are needed by your body for optimal functioning. Plus, this low-calorie alternative can easily resemble your favorite stringy pasta. Top it with a tablespoon of olive oil (polyunsaturated fat source) and a homemade, low-sodium tomato sauce (full of the antioxidant lycopene), and you have the fixings for a healthy version of your favorite Italian plate. You will get nutrients and antioxidants that may help fight off free radical damage (leads to inflammation) and improve your overall health.
Prep Way #3: Mash ‘em
If your favorite side happens to be mashed potatoes, then do we have an alternative for you. Turnips, which are a root vegetable, have been shown to reduce cancer-causing substances found in your body. Plus, turnips are filled with iron, calcium, and vitamin C, which are all nutrients that your body needs. Instead of loading up on butter and salt, mash and keep this vegetable “naked,” and reap all the wonderful health-promoting benefits. Not one for turnips? Try cauliflower instead. This flowery vegetable is packed full of nutrition, all without adding many calories to your overall plate. This could be the perfect alternative to starchy potatoes.
Prep Way #4: Need a New Topper?
There are many different and unique ways to spice up your food. You can add fiery hot sauce to eggs, yogurt to breads as the “new” mayo, or you simply can add a dash of cinnamon to anything to make it better. Changing out your food toppers is one way that you can add more superfood power to your daily nutrition. Top off your oatmeal, coffee, or tea with cinnamon, for a healthy alternative that may even control your blood sugar. There are many studies that show that cinnamon may be effective at controlling blood sugar. For a different approach to salads, sprinkle a few walnuts, almonds, or flaxseed onto your salad to up your intake of high-quality proteins, fiber, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This is one easy way to spice up your salads.
Start Your Day off on the Right Foot
In order to get more superfoods into your diet, you should consider these four steps. Not only are superfoods good for you, they provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs in order to burn fat, ward off colds and flus, and prevent chronic disease development.
By Kevin DiDonato